Friday, September 2, 2011

Handwriting

   I am often asked about a child's handwriting by parents. There are various reasons why parents may be upset with their child's handwriting. After all, I guess everyone wants to see beautiful calligraphy on paper. Normally, I tend to focus on writing itself. After all, I would much rather a child puts down his/her thoughts, works on his/her writing skills than handwriting.
This particular article gives some food for thought:
Handwriting

Summarizing

Summarizing is known to be a very important trait for children to learn and master. This article describes it well.

Summarizing

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sticky Notes - real and virtual - for reading and note-taking.

       There is something magical about sticky notes (or post-its) that seems to attract the children. Encouraging children to use stickies for various purposes really helps with the reading, memory, notetaking process. Following are some of the uses whether at home or in the classroom:
1. If a child thinks of a question but it isn't the appropriate time to ask it, the child can write down his/her question on a sticky and ask it later. This way he/she doesn't forget what he/she wanted to ask.
2. While reading a book, if he/she comes across a word or a piece of text that he/she does not understand, putting a sticky there for a reminder is a way for the child not to lose his/her trend of thought as well as be encouraged to look up meanings of text that he/she did not comprehend. This can help when the child works with a book report or a book summary as the stickies can help the child go back to the places to get the main points.
3. Highlighting with a real highlighter is really useful when reading a piece of text that belongs to the child. However, with a textbook that is borrowed from school, the actual highlighting is not possible. So, using stickies to mark particular pieces in the text really help with study skills and test taking.
4. On an iPad/iPod, the iBook application has the use of of highlighting and adding notes. These even show up in the bookmarks section of the book in question which again help those students who may have trouble recalling events/details in a book; it even helps those who can recall easily as the actual page is marked.
5. If using a Mac, it comes pre-loaded with a "stickies" application. This can be used for writing notes while reading, for writing personal to-dos and any other notes.


         While I am sure that there are several other uses for sticky notes, these are what I can think of off the top of my head with respect to reading.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Student Blogging

One of the most rewarding experiences for both the children and me has been the classroom blog in terms of how each child has enjoyed the writing experience, how they grow into the role of commenting respectfully, giving constructive feedback and most of all, their creativity. The following link explains why blogging is a great tool for students.

Student Blogging

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Abraham Lincoln

With Presidents' Day around the corner, I came across this very interesting article on our 16th President from the Smithsonian.
Enjoy!
Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Khan Academy for Math

Khan Academy has several links for various mathematical topics. These can be used for:
- Reteaching
- Reviewing concepts
- Introducing concepts
- Learning new concepts
- Just for making Math fun

Khan Academy

Check it out!